Thorne Travel in the North Ayshire town of Kilwinning is owned by founder Shona Thorne and staffed by a young, dynamic team of 20.
Rewarding consultants with additional annual leave days for travel instead of bonuses means consultants are all able to travel regularly to expand their product knowledge.
Shona is a firm believer in customer service skills being more important than travel experience – as evidenced by a recent recruit who came from working as a make-up artist for Bobbi Brown.
Every visitor to the store is offered a hot drink, beer or bubbly. Tickets for holidays with Thorne Travel, or for theatre trips and pampering days with sister brand Thorne Experiences, can be presented in gift boxes filled with other little treats.
In place of a store manager, Thorne Travel has a ‘customer journey manager’ who has been on a mindfulness course to try to understand customers’ perceptions and to analyse every step of the customer journey.
Thorne Travel stays close to its clients by holding regular client events, and last year sponsored the Scotland Air Show in conjunction with Jet2holidays, gaining an additional 5,000 subscribers for its database.
Thorne Travel’s side business in organising UK weddings proves another valuable source of new clientele.
With three digital specialists on the team, Thorne Travel excels on social media, with Facebook enquiries now making up 68% of its business.
The team raises money for Cash For Kids, a local charity that supports underprivileged children in this very low income area of Scotland, and gives away places on family day trips to vulnerable children.
Much loved in the local community, and demonstrating high levels of innovation, it’s no wonder Thorne Travel is doing so well as a business. It’s proud to boast an 87% repeat customer rate, and Shona is looking to take on an additional consultant to handle demand.